Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

The Switcher-Fixer-upper

Nathan Strum


As I was getting my 2600 setup set back up, I ran into another issue.


I used an old Pelican S-Video switch to connect my 2600 (along with other S-Video components like my LaserDisc player and Dreamcast) to my HDTV. Well, I no longer have the HDTV, and the LaserDisc player and Dreamcast are likely to stay in storage for the foreseeable future, but I wanted to re-use the switch with my Sony PVM-14M2U monitor so I wouldn't have to keep swapping cables.



And while it still switched S-Video just fine, the audio wasn't fully working. Most notably, the right channels were intermittent, and cut in and out any time I moved cables that were plugged in.


So, now it was time to take this thing apart, and see if I could fix it. (Or spend 15 bucks to replace it.)


What I found out, was that when the right (red) audio jacks were installed, even though the tops of them (where the ground connector is) were seated flush against the circuit board prior to being soldered in place...



...the center connectors were not. Several of them were just short of being fully pressed into place prior to soldering, so when you plugged in a cable, it pushed on the middle of the jack, and without the support of the circuit board behind it, it would eventually push the pad off the circuit board, breaking the trace.



So, for those where the trace was broken, I had to install jumper wires to go from the center post to the nearest available solderable point on that trace. Fortunately, just at the base of the green board, there were little gaps of bare copper I could solder to. The other two inputs didn't need to be fixed since they hadn't broken, but I went ahead and re-flowed the solder on them, pressing the jacks firmly against the circuit board so this wouldn't become a problem. I then tested all of the connections with a multimeter for continuity and shorts, and it was job done!



Except... it wasn't. When I plugged in actual audio to test it, the last three inputs still didn't work! And not just the right channel, but the left as well.


After a little more testing, I found that the ground trace had broken between inputs 2 and 3. So I soldered a jumper there as well, checked everything again (including ground this time :roll: ), and now it was fully fixed and working again. 



Here it is in place, on top of my Sony monitor and TU-1041U tuner (which I use for RF), with new pushbutton labels for my color bar generator, 2600, 7800 (S-Video mod pending), and an auxiliary cable.

Being a nearly 20-year-old switch, it's a little clunky, and it needed a little TLC to keep going, but it still does the job!

  • Like 2


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...